LibriVox recording of The Chartreuse of Parma, by Stendhal. Read by Antony Brown.
This book is more often called The Charterhouse of Parma in English, because "Charterhouse" is the English word for a Carthusian monastery, whereas "Chartreuse" is the French word.
The book tells the life of a Lombard nobleman, born soon after the appearance of Napoleon's army in Italy. He has many adventures in love, war, politics, and the Church. The politics and the Church part of his life result from his doting aunt's becoming the Prime Minister's mistress, and the power behind the throne, in the Duchy of Parma.
The Prime Minister is a wish-fulfillment depiction of the author. Although nobody lives happily ever after, it is a happy book to read, quite unlike "The Red and the Black". (Summary by Antony Brown)
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March 8, 2019 Subject:
Court intrigue, affairs, all that stuff
Set in northern Italy close to the Austrian border, this story takes place as Napoleon makes his final stand at Waterloo. The main character of the story is 17 at the time, and runs away from his home on Lake Como to join Napoleon's army.
What follows is the story of him and his intrigues, and of his aunt, Gina, doing everything she can to forward him in his life, because she loves him (although she's 15 or so years older than him).
Lots of love affairs; court intrigue in the kingdom of Parma, which has a weak and ridiculous ruler; selfishness and toadyism.
Story's pretty good. Narrator does well, but I disliked the different voice for the French passages and the lack of translation (albeit neither of these are really the reader's fault - if you can't speak French, you find someone else to read the long French parts).
Funny how the Chartreuse of Parma itself doesn't come into the story until the last 5 minutes or so.